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Seth MacFarlane’s ‘Ted 2’ Wisecracks to $2.6 Million at Box Office Thursday Night

Trash-talking teddy tale starring Mark Wahlberg and Amanda Seyfried matches original’s early haul

“Ted 2,” Seth MacFarlane‘s latest tale of the trash-talking teddy bear, brought in $2.6 million at the box office Thursday night, the same as the original did in 2012.

The followup to MacFarlane’s R-rated comedy hit stars Mark Wahlberg and Amanda Seyfried, and got off to a fast start in 2,647 theaters that began early shows at 8 p.m. for Universal and Media Rights Capital.

That will come in handy this weekend, when “Ted 2” debuts against two heavyweight holdovers, the blockbuster “Jurassic World” and Disney and Pixar Animation’s “Inside Out.” It will be in 3,441 theaters in the U.S. and Canada starting Friday.

“Ted 2” is expected to take in around $55 million over the three days, comparable to the $54 million opening of the original, also written and directed by MacFarlane. Both “Jurassic World” and”Inside Out” are expected to finish in the same range, so the weekend race could be a nail-biter.

It would be historic, as three movies have never made more than $50 million over the same three-day weekend, according to Rentrak. And it would add more fuel to a summer box office that is on fire already, thanks mainly to “Jurassic World.”

The rampaging reptiles repeated as No. 1 last weekend after debuting with a record $208.8 million on June 12, and have helped drive the season from flat to roughly 12 percent ahead of 2014. Along the way, “Jurassic World” has rolled up more than $436 million domestically and $1.02 billion globally in record time.

Pete Docter’s “Inside Out” also impressed in its debut, which ended Pixar’s streak of No. 1 film openings at 14, but at $91 million was the best ever by an original film and the highest ever for a movie that didn’t win the weekend.

“Ted 2” is pacing ahead of the 2012 original on social media and will get a boost from the millions of fans who made “Ted” a top-selling DVD/Blu-ray comedy title. The only soft spot might be its reviews, currently at 45 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

Wahlberg is back as the star, joined this time by Seyfried (replacing the original’s Mila Kunis), John Slattery and Morgan Freeman. MacFarlane, in addition to directing and voicing the bear, wrote the script with Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild from the first film. He’s also part of the producing team from the original, along with Bluegrass Films’ Scott Stuber, Jason Clark and John Jacobs. The production budget was $85 million.

The weekend’s other wide opener, Warner Bros. and MGM’s “Max,” brought in $500,000 Thursday night. The PG-rated family film is about a military dog who returns from service in Afghanistan traumatized by his handler’s death and is adopted by the fallen Marine’s family.

Josh Wiggins, Thomas Haden Church, Robbie Amell and Lauren Graham star in the film directed by Boaz Yakin, who co-wrote with Sheldon Lettich.

“Max” will screen in around 2,855 theaters.